Test your language skills online

When it comes to defining a second-language learner’s proficiency, what options are there? Most of what is available is time consuming and expensive. However, the DIALANG project has developed a Web-based instrument that allows learners to assess their proficiency in, particularly EU, languages. The method is entirely ‘self-assessment’ […]

Linguistics Quiz

Test your knowledge of various areas of linguistics with these interactive exercises. Just follow the links below: Language and communication Grammar (syntax, morphology, phonology, phonetics) First language acquisition Second language acquisition Semantics and Pragmatics Sociolinguistics

Da Lingua Code

Now that the unintentional sabbatical is over…. What do the following phrases have in common? Hasta la vista baby It’s a nice day, hana? Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in English y termino en español Answer: they are all forms of ‘code-switching’; that is, the (more or less […]

Clichés

What precisely is a cliché? And is it really the ‘bad guy of the English language’? Or is that just a vexed question? As even bad guys have their defendants and McArthur in The Oxford Companion to the English Language reminds us that the general dislike of the […]